We have a long standing family New Years Day meal tradition handed down from my paternal grandmother that we continue to honor - ham and cabbage for good heath and prosperity. In recent years, we've added Hopping John which is reportedly for good luck - a desirable thing.
For as long as I can remember, I've eaten ham and cabbage on January 1st. Sometimes it was ham sandwiches and cole slaw. I mildly resisted the tradition in my youth, but have carried it on with my own family. At Christmas, my nephew was talking about this particular tradition and how his mom (my sister) made him eat it, too, demanding at least one bite of each. Amidst our relatively large family of 35 people consisting of four generations (only four were not able make it this year), he acknowledged that there must be something valid to it, because everyone is doing well.
So today, I baked ham, made a sautéed cabbage recipe and Hopping John. I bought the smallest bone-in ham at the store - 7# and baked it plain - 20 minutes per pound at 325. I didn't add any glaze or sauce because I have plans for the remainder that would not work with any kind of fruity or sweet finish.
John is not fond of steamed cabbage, and I was going to make a roasted recipe. In looking for it I found a sautéed recipe that was highly rated on AllRecipes.com. It turned out well and I saved it for future use.
I added Hopping John to the line up at John's request. I use the recipe from the Virginia Hospitality cookbook - a Junior League recipe collection I bought while on vacation in DC several years ago. The recipe follows.
Hopping John - 6 side dish servings
4 slices bacon, cut into pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1# can black eyed peas, including liquid
1/2 cup uncooked pork, cubed (I don't always add this)
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup rice
pinch of cayenne
salt to taste
Sauté bacon and onions until onions are tender. Add pork and cook until lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat about 25 minutes.